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Tag Archives: Good Friday

The Garden of Gethsemane

Personal photos taken in Jerusalem of March 2017.

Top photo: Current Day-Garden.

Below photo: from a Historical Museum picture of  a heel-bone from a Crucifixion. 

As Jesus began his most personal and profound prayer, knowing of the betrayal and agony set before Him as an intense physical, emotional and spiritual battle was at hand, He prayed. He prayed inviting others to join him.

 

Matthew 26:36-46 Amplified

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane (olive-press), and He told His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee [James and John], He began to be grieved and greatly distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, so that I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and stay awake and keep watch with Me.”

And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words once more. Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Listen, the hour [of My sacrifice] is at hand and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners [whose way and nature is to oppose God]. Get up, let us go. Look, My betrayer is near!”

As I read the above verses from a distance, my heart is all in and for my Jesus. I find myself pressing my ear to this passage listening to the pleas He repeatedly makes to both His Father and disciples. I’m listening to learn lessons and instructions, in prayer, as He is leading His disciples to follow; for us to follow. I feel as I am there in the garden, a disciple, near to Him watching Him pray, desiring to ease His pleas and ask, “Lord, teach me to join You in prayer.”

  • We know Jesus prayed: constantly– day, night, alone, with others, before working miracles. We read here He kept returning three-times to pray. His prayer was not repetitious, but continual.
  • It seems that the Garden of Gethsemane was a favorite private place to prayer because John 18:2 says, “Jesus had often met there with his disciples.”
  • Jesus prayed out of a deep and honoring love relationship calling God “Father.” We are commanded to do the same in Matt 6:9.
  • Prayer is not always smooth, as it requires focus especially when experiencing intense emotions, physical pain, and spiritual warfare. It requires more from us when we seemingly are at our weakest. When we come before Him, with humility, at the foot of the cross, we can ask for strength to aid us, in the will of the Lord.
  • Verse 41, Jesus address’ the disciples: Keep actively watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Jesus knew the power of temptation: He shares of His own distress and grieved soul.

Actively = deliberate, positive, energetic, vigorous way.

Watching = give strict attention to, be cautions, active.

Praying = to offer prayers, to pray.

 

Pray, dear one, pray to your Father…..

 

Gethsemane is where He died; the cross is only the evidence.

Leonard Ravenhill

When a man really gives up trying to make something out of himself – a saint, or a converted sinner, or a churchman (a so-called clerical somebody), a righteous or unrighteous man,…and throws himself into the arms of God…then he wakes with Christ in Gethsemane. That is faith, that is metanoia and it is thus that he becomes a man and Christian.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Jesus defeated satan in Gethsemane on the cross, not by directly confronting the devil, but by fulfilling the destiny to which He had been called. The greatest battle that was ever won was accomplished by the apparent death of the victor, without even a word of rebuke to His adversary!

Francis Frangipane

This is the centre of the gospel – this is what the Garden of Gethsemane and Good Friday are all about – that God has done astonishing and costly things to draw us near.

John Piper

EM Bounds

How difficult it appears to be for the Church to understand that the whole scheme of redemption depends upon men of prayers The work of our Lord, while here on the earth, as well of the Apostle Paul was, by teaching and example, to develop men of prayer, to whom the future of the Church should be committed. How strange that instead of learning this simple and all important lesson, the modern Church has largely overlooked it. We have need to turn afresh to that wondrous Leader of spiritual Israel, our Lord Jesus Christ, who by example and precept enjoins us to prayer and to the great Apostle to the Gentiles, who by virtue of his praying habits and prayer lessons is a model and an example to God’s people in every age and clime.

Deborah  4-Unfolded Hearts Ministry

Divine Promises

Promise
As we prepare to celebrate Easter it wouldn’t be fitting if we didn’t first recount the events that took place in the life of Jesus individually and at our place of worship during what is known as Passion Week, the time from His triumphal entry to resurrection. Jesus spent most of his time in Bethany, just two miles east of Jerusalem on the opposite slope of the Mount of Olives. He probably stayed at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Jesus spent Thursday night praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Friday and Saturday nights Jesus’ body lay in the garden tomb. [Billye Brim describes the third day from her book The Blood and the Glory.]
The third day, our Lord Jesus arose- triumphant over death, hell and the grave-and carried His own precious blood into the Heavenly Holy of Holies where it was accepted for you, me, our families and generations to come.

The precious blood of Christ- 1 Peter 1:19

Hebrews 6: 9-12

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

 Let’s consider a few redeeming lives of those who have gone before us, and their maturing attributes, as they trusted in that which Christ had promised:

Thomas may have doubted until Jesus revealed himself, but he didn’t allow the doubt to remain. He matured through his belief while stating, “My Lord and my God!” Selah. [John 20:26-29 you are blessed for believing yet having not seen]

Abraham received great promises from God. Many which seemed impossible to be realized, yet Abraham trusted God with confidence and active faith. [Mature choice(s) in righteousness]

Jeremiah accused God of being unreliable [15:18]. God reminded Jeremiah of His promise to stand by him [12:5,6; 15:19,20]. Jeremiah’s questioning of God forms one of the best examples in the Bible of what it means to follow God in spite of everything. [Jeremiah matured in his depth of understanding as well as in the spiritual challenge]
Hebrews 12:2 AMP

[Looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].

I love how this one verse in Hebrews 12:2 starts with encouragement that enfolds us, you and I, in the assurance of Christ. The perfecting of faith is a part of our maturing. The word focus by definition is the center of interest or activity; focusing our eyes on Jesus is strategic victory for our completion [the will & purposes] as we follow a divine and supreme example.
Do you have promises from God that seem too incredible to fulfill?

Hear the integrity of His own heart in this verse.

Hebrews 6:17-18
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.

Isaiah 26:4 MSG – “Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.”

Deborah Somjak
Unfolded Hearts Ministry

Cited Resource Chronological Life Application Study Bible

Let’s apply our diligence.

For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-8 AMP